climate change, global kidney health and the ISN

Frances Mortimer's picture

In his talk at the global health session of the Renal Association-BTS Congress last month, Professor John Feehally, president of the International Society of Nephrologists, reminded the audience how vulnerable dialysis patients are to natural disasters - effectively a death sentence in many cases. 

The UCL Lancet Commission in 2009 said "Climate change will have its greatest effect on those who have the least access to the world's resources and who have contributed least to its cause. Without mitigation and adaptation, it will increase health inequity especially through negative effects on the social determinants of health in the poorest communities." It seems likely that people with kidney disease will be some of the most vulnerable of all - and indeed, that by increasing problems of clean water supply, malaria, malnutrition, climate change will itself increase the burden of kidney disease around the world.

The International Society of Nephrologists has so far not accepted the relevance of climate change to kidney health worldwide, or the role of nephrologists in preventing or preparing for it. But the ISN might respond to a call to do so from a broad range of members internationally - would anyone be willing to help me in pulling together a briefing document and an international group of signatories?

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